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Kaldor Public Art Projects

This summer, I have been incredibly fortunate to be involved in some great creative projects. I have just finished up working on Project 28 and 29 for Kaldor Public Art Projects and taken up a role with Object: Australian Design Centre.

The way in which art and design are exhibited in public spaces has always intrigued me. Working in public contemporary art exhibition has allowed me to start interesting conversations with the public about its relevance, definition and financing. Watching people digest concepts and articulate how much they love or loathe an artwork—whether verbally or through body language— provides fascinating insight into audience preferences.

For Project 28, Roman Ondák’s transitory occupation of Parramatta Town Hall challenged and engaged local audiences. The distinctiveness of Ondák’s exhibition comes from his ability to transform private rituals and behaviour into public spectacle and communal experience. Audiences strongly responded to the idea of participating in constructed situations that attempted to replicate things that are somewhat mundane. Maybe transforming a private ritual into the public realm gave the activity new meaning. 

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Watch: Jenni Kemarre Martiniello on her Inspiration & Process

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is a contemporary urban-based Aboriginal (Arrernte) glass artist, based in Canberra and featured in Object: Australian Design Centre’s early-2014 exhibition New Weave: Contemporary Approaches to the Traditions of Weaving. In this video she discusses her inspiration and the process of making her glass representations of traditional Indigenous objects. To watch the video, hit the play button under the image gallery to the right!

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WeAve Parramatta Visit New Weave

Today Object hosted a group of 15 people from WeAve Parramatta for a workshop with New Weave artist Alana Clifton-Cunningham. The WeAve Parramatta group meet twice a month to discuss their arts practice and regularly visit exhibitions and artist talks of interest around Sydney. 

I gave the group a walk through of the New Weave exhibition and everyone listened with interest and enjoyed the different takes on traditional weaving processes presented in the exhibition. Bin Dixon-Ward’s 3D printed jewellery was the focus of much fascination for its beautiful colour gradations and sculptural forms.

Alana Clifton-Cunningham introduced the group to her practice and showed many of her sample books and pieces and then demonstrated her techniques on her 30 year old domestic knitting machine, before showing how she sculpts the knitted segments on a mannequin into body formations.

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Glitter Beard, Glut Glut And Me

It isn’t every day that you get to meet people famous for their glittery beards, or their pink skin and monster outfits. For the upcoming MAKE.PLAY X Mardi Gras season of workshops that starts next week at Object, and a bit of research for my 2SER radio spruik on Gay Panic show, I met up with Justin Shoulder for juice in Marrickville in the morning, and Matt Format for an afternoon pick me up coffee near the office.

Truth be told, I was a bit nervous about meeting Justin in person to chat about his Fantastic Creatures workshop after reading about him in nearly every arts magazine or blog I have come across lately. From his curating of 2014’s first MCA Artbar with the Glitter Militia, and his anointment as a top 10 Australian artist to watch (according to ARTINFO), to his highly acclaimed The River Eats performance from last year, my beating heart be still. However, the softly spoken, and hugely humble artist had me at ease as we bonded over masks, materials and hot glue guns.

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Weaving In The Gallery

Object’s gallery space is now empty of the 3D printers that made up CTRL P: Objects On Demand, our collaborative workshop with COTA and we are preparing for our next exhibition New Weave: Contemporary Approaches to the Traditions of Weaving. It is exciting unpacking the works from a very diverse group of artists who explore the extremities of weaving where anything is possible!

Lorraine Connelly-Northey weaves her works with rusted found wire in ways that defy the loom. Jenni Kemarre Martiniello’s fish traps, dilly bags and baskets interpret Indigenous traditional weavings in fragile glass forms that seem to float. Rachel Park is installing her wall work using toilet paper in the gallery over the coming week and it is amazing to see it developing and tumbling down the wall.

And there is still so much more to come!

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CUSP Install At JamFactory

I’m sitting here today planning day 4 of the install of CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade at JamFactory in South Australia and reflecting on the past three days of the install. I’m happy to say that all is looking good – in fact, doubly good because CUSP will be showing in two locations at the same time! CUSP‘s South Australian leg of the national tour is split over two venues, the iconic JamFactory in Adelaide and JamFactory’s new and beautiful sister gallery and store in Seppeltsfield Winery, in the Barossa Valley. We’re excited that the CUSP experience will now reach two geographically separated audiences, and for those keenly interested in cutting-edge design thinking, offers an experience that has you travelling to two great South Australian locales.

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Melbourne Now

In the cool, quiet hiatus between Christmas and New Year Melbourne is, in art and design terms, very Now! With everyone else either out of town, or enjoying the sales or the cricket test, I was in town experiencing the Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and The Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square.

For the first time at the NGV, design and architecture are being shown as part of the contemporary art conversation. The gallery should be applauded for its efforts to work with artists and designers across Melbourne uncovering the deep talents that lie within the city.

Starting at the NGV on the first day, I barely scraped the surface of the show, which spans 8000 square metres of exhibition space across the two venues. Going back for a second day, with a 12-year-old guide who had seen the show earlier with school, I realised that I had missed much in my first visit.

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Graphic Design Interns Needed!

Object is back from holidays and on the hunt for talented graphic design students to undertake internships for 2014.
We are looking for two interns to work on a variety of exciting projects. Internships are a minimum of 3 months long and we have two time slots available; February to April and May to July 2014.
Applications close 5pm Friday 24 January.

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Position Vacant: Gallery Assistant

We’re now hiring Casual Gallery Assistants for February 2014. Hours will vary from week to week (5-15 hours) depending on exhibitions and events in the gallery at the time, so would be perfect for people who are studying or who are looking to supplement other work. The role is based out of our Gallery in Surry Hills and involves gallery systems and process maintenance, excellent customer service and assisting in the running of a diverse range of events.
The Gallery Assistant will work closely with the Gallery and Events Coordinator to maintain the gallery, the Collect store both online and for in person sales, as well as assisting with events.

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Vale Marea Gazzard

It is with sadness that we learnt recently of the passing of Marea Gazzard, a true powerhouse for Australian Craft. A sculptor of significant note, Gazzard was instrumental in setting up the craft organisational structures as we now know them in Australia—from the creation of the Craft Association of Australia (latterly Craft Australia) to the inaugural Chair of the Australia Council Crafts Board, Gazzard was a key figure in the promotion of craft in Australia. This extended globally with her role as President of the World Crafts Council in the early 1980s.

Read Jane Burns’ memorial to Gazzard at the Craft Unbound website for a deeper understanding of the artist and the person from a colleague, peer and friend, and the Sydney Morning Herald also ran a tribute over the weekend. Gazzard’s tireless work as a craftsperson, artist, and spokesperson will not be quickly forgotten.

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What's on

TOURING EXHIBITION

Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design

Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW 14 February - 11 April 2015

An exhibition of the most compelling works from 12 designers from the highly acclaimed “Workshopped” exhibitions held in Sydney. Workshopped has discovered, nurtured and launched the careers of...
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TOURING EXHIBITION

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels

Western Plains Cultural Centre NSW, 18 April – 28 June, 2015

Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels is the eighth in our Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series. Our first Indigenous Living Treasure, Greeno is a shellworker and artist from Tasmania, whose...
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TOURING EXHIBITION

CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade

State Library of Queensland 01 November 2014 - 14 February 2015

Over the last number of years Object: Australian Design Centre has explored many notions of design. From Freestyle: new Australian design for living in 2006 to HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics in...
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